To meet the ideals of the digital age — when information can and should flow freely across borders — the U.S. needs to set the highest possible standards, consistent with the country’s First Amendment tradition. In recent years, the U.S. has fallen short.

In the Digital Age, a Fight to Preserve the Right to Report | Mediashift | PBS

Roman says volunteers worked in shifts to monitor the Internet around the clock, and his group swiftly contacted American media outlets to remove any reference to Sotloff’s Jewish background. That included one piece in The New York Times, which swiftly disappeared. “The New York Times article, with the reference, was removed in 27 minutes,” Roman says. The effort also went far beyond media accounts. The volunteers asked friends of Sotloff to remove tags of him in Facebook photos, and it successfully petitioned Facebook to remove Sotloff’s profile. It persuaded a rabbi in Los Angeles to remove a sermon online about Sotloff’s Jewish background, and even contacted members of the synagogue to ask them to keep quiet. One volunteer even went to Sotloff’s old college campus in Israel and removed a graduation photo of him from the wall, Roman said. All in all, Roman says, there were some 4,000 online mentions of Sotloff’s Jewish and Israeli identity the group worked to remove.

Murdered journalist Steven Sotloff was Jewish and Israeli — and here’s why no one found out | Public Radio International

The most recent example of how stark the differences can be between a filtered feed and an unfiltered one was the unrest in Ferguson, Mo. and how that showed up so dramatically on Twitter but was barely present for most users of Facebook. As sociologist Zeynep Tufekci noted, that kind of filtering has social consequences — and journalism professor Emily Bell pointed out that doing this makes Facebook and Twitter into information gatekeepers in much the same way newspapers used to be.

Twitter CFO says a Facebook-style filtered feed is coming, whether you like it or not — Tech News and Analysis (via slantback)

(via slantback)

This is a pivotal time for our communications ecosystem. As we cede control to governments and corporations—and as they take it away from us—we are risking a most fundamental liberty, the ability to freely speak and assemble. Let’s not trade our freedom for convenience.

The New Editors of the Internet - The Atlantic

Content moderation in the age of anonymous apps is a far trickier game than for social networks of the past. The safety of their communities will make or break Secret, Whisper, and Yik Yak. We’ve seen the likes of other anonymous sites — like Juicy Campus and Formspring.me — felled by vicious cyberbullying. Chatroullete infamously went the same way, although its downfall was naked men instead of mean people. Whisper has been testing, developing, and honing its TaskUs enabled vetting practices for years. Using a full-time team devoted to the job — instead of freelancers sourced through Crowdflower or Mechanical Turk — allows it to take a mass approach to content filtering. Moderators look at Whispers surfaced by both machines and people: Users flag inappropriate posts and algorithms analyze text and images for anything that might have slipped through the cracks. That way, the company is less likely to miss cyberbullying, sex, and suicide messages. Moderators delete the bad stuff, shuffle cyberbullies into a “posts-must-be-approved-before-publishing” category, and stamp suicide Whispers with a “watermark” — the number for the National Suicide Hotline.

Meet the anonymous app police fighting bullies and porn on Whisper, Yik Yak, and potentially Secret — Tech News and Analysis

A new internet safety report from Ofcom detailing network filters has revealed that the majority of the United Kingdom has opted into being able to view pornography online. Only very small percentages of UK ISP customers have opted to use porn filters; 4% of Virgin Media customers, 5% of BT, and 8% of Sky. However, the numbers only tally new customers that are offered the choice of the filters during account activation, and don’t make note of customers who may decide to turn on the filters at a later date. Ofcom found that around 42% of internet-enabled homes already had broadband filters, so perhaps customers simply didn’t want to double down on internet censorship.

Almost all of England actively chose to view internet porn | News | Geek.com

The 10-day block comes after anonymous changes were made to entries on politicians and businesses, as well as events like the Kennedy assassination. The biography of former US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld was edited to say that he was an “alien lizard”.

BBC News - Wikipedia blocks ‘disruptive’ page edits from US Congress

"The prevailing norms, which the overwhelming majority of Singaporeans accept, support teaching children about conventional families, but not about alternative, non-traditional families, which is what the books in question are about," Minister of Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim said Friday. He added: "Societies are never static, and will change over time. But NLB’s approach is to reflect existing social norms, and not to challenge or seek to change them." It was not clear how and when the books will be destroyed.

Singapore backs call to destroy gay-themed books

In Friday’s turnabout, the company told The Guardian that several links to its articles had been reinstated in Google’s European search service after the newspaper complained. Some of the articles were from 2010 about a soccer referee, now retired, who had been accused of lying about why he had awarded a penalty kick in a match in Scotland. Google declined to explain why it had removed the links this week, or its reasons for honoring The Guardian’s request to restore them. Critics said the episode highlighted a lack of transparency about how Google is carrying out the court order as it works through requests it has received for removing information, a number that has reached 70,000 and continues to grow.

Google Reinstates European Links to Articles From The Guardian - NYTimes.com

If upheld and then emulated by courts in other countries, said Michael Geist, a law professor at the University of Ottawa, the Internet could go from being perceived as a lawless place to “one where all courts apply” setting up conflicts between nations on several issues, particularly freedom of expression. “The judge recognizes that there is this global impact but doesn’t really want to deal with it,” said Professor Geist, who holds the Canada Research Chair in Internet law. “Where this decision goes off the rails is when the court decides its order making power is limitless.”

Canadian Judge Says Google Must Remove Links Worldwide - NYTimes.com